Esau McCaulley | How Can We Be a Country That Does This to Our Children? – The New York Times

Contributing Opinion Writer

“The formal clothes of children are endearing. Take a suit or a dress and shrink it down to a size appropriate for elementary school kids and the cuteness factor is undeniable. This is because we all know that ties, button-down shirts and stately dresses are not really the province of the young. Children belong in things that can get dirty, splashed by mud or ripped by sliding into second base or tussling with a classmate.

But tiny coffins? Of course, we revolt. Death is not supposed to visit the lives of our daughters in pigtails or stalk our sons who still have gaps in their teeth.

The parents of three young children at the Covenant School in Nashville now have to choose final outfits and coffins for their children because a shooter entered a school with assault-style rifles and a handgun.

The killer, who also took the lives of three adults at the school, was another in a long line of murderers whose ideologies vary as much as the objects of their violence: Asians, African Americans, Black church attendees, members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, former classmates, moviegoers, grocery shoppers and Christian school students and staff. The one thing that unites these killers is the easy access they had to weapons, owing to the laws that exist in our republic.”

Sunita Puri | As a Doctor, I Know Being Ready to Die Is an Illusion – The New York Times

Dr. Puri is the author of “That Good Night,” a memoir about her work as a palliative medicine physician.

Nine years ago, near the end of my residency training, I sat across from a patient, wondering whether he’d accepted that he was dying. He was in his 60s, an artist with sinewy arms and serene eyes, someone I’d come to know well over the past three years. Cancer had broken into his liver and bone marrow, robbing him of hunger and energy.

Each time I saw him, the hollows of his cheeks deepened. I wanted to tell him that he was dying, that I wanted to understand how he envisioned spending his remaining life. But he mostly spoke about his plans: a camping vacation in six months, a friend’s wedding after that.

Partha Dasgupta on the Value of Nature missing in GNP| Alexander Skarsgard narrates video.  – The New York Times

Nathan Grossman, Tom Mustill and 

Mr. Grossman, Mr. Mustill and Ms. Nessen are filmmakers.

Partha Dasgupta is a Cambridge University economist who in 2021 prepared a more than 600-page report for the British government about the financial value of nature.

Not your average bedtime reading.

But believe us when we say his report, the culmination of decades of scholarship, is incredibly important. Or at least believe the United Nations, which awarded him the title Champion of the Earth for his work. Or King Charles III, who this year made Mr. Dasgupta a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire — an extremely rare honor — for his services to economics and the natural environment.

Mr. Dasgupta’s voluminous study is so important, that we decided to publish a short film about it, the Opinion video above. To make his complex review digestible, the film employs old-timey cartoons, some cursing, a clip of Boris Johnson in a hard hat while dangling from a cable, a very apt soccer metaphor, a bit of Strauss and a title that could be viewed as an exaggeration.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT  NYT Comment:

Wonderful video, thank you Grossman, Mustill and Nessen. I quibble with the headline: “The Most Important Person You’ve Never Heard of Has the Answer to Everything” The video title is even worse: Alexander Skarsgård Explains the Answer to Everything. (It Involves Doing Some Math.). I reposted this piece to my blog, with a different headline: Partha Dasgupta on the Value of Nature missing in GNP! Alexander Skarsgard narrates video. – The New York Times David blogs at

How Big Law and Black Brooklyn Fueled Hakeem Jeffries’s Rise – The New York Times


“The campus at Binghamton University was in uproar. Whispers of outside agitators swirled among the mostly white student body. Security was heightened.

The source of the friction was the planned appearance of a polarizing Black studies professor who had referred to white people as “ice people” and accused “rich Jews” of financing the slave trade. Outraged Jewish students demanded the event be canceled; their Black peers were incensed over the potential censorship.

And wedged hard in the middle was Hakeem Jeffries.

As the political representative for the Black student group that invited the professor to the upstate New York campus, Mr. Jeffries, a 21-year-old college senior with a flattop and a dashiki, had the delicate task of cooling tensions while holding firm on the invitation. There was also another complication: The speaker, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, was his uncle.

The episode, in February 1992, was an early precursor of both the culture-war disputes now flashing across the country and the battles that Mr. Jeffries faces as the new leader of House Democrats. Republicans have begun resurfacing it to try to tie their new foil to his uncle’s more incendiary views, which he says he does not share.”

David Brooks | The Cold War With China Is Changing Everything – The New York Times

“So I guess we’re in a new cold war. Leaders of both parties have become China hawks. There are rumblings of war over Taiwan. Xi Jinping vows to dominate the century.

I can’t help wondering: What will this cold war look like? Will this one transform American society the way the last one did?

The first thing I notice about this cold war is that the arms race and the economics race are fused. A chief focus of the conflict so far has been microchips, the little gizmos that not only make your car and phone work, but also guide missiles and are necessary to train artificial intelligence systems. Whoever dominates chip manufacturing dominates the market as well as the battlefield.

Second, the geopolitics are different. As Chris Miller notes in his book “Chip War,” the microchip sector is dominated by a few highly successful businesses. More than 90 percent of the most advanced chips are made by one company in Taiwan. One Dutch company makes all the lithography machines that are required to build cutting-edge chips. Two Santa Clara, Calif., companies monopolize the design of graphic processing units, critical for running A.I. applications in data centers.

These choke points represent an intolerable situation for China. If the West can block off China’s access to cutting-edge technology, then it can block off China. So China’s intention is to approach chip self-sufficiency. America’s intention is to become more chip self-sufficient than it is now and to create a global chip alliance that excludes China.

American foreign policy has been rapidly rearranged along these lines. Over the last two administrations, the United States has moved aggressively to block China from getting the software technology and equipment it needs to build the most advanced chips. The Biden administration is cutting off not just Chinese military companies, but all Chinese companies. This seems like a common-sense safeguard, but put another way, it’s kind of dramatic: Official U.S. policy is to make a nation of almost a billion and a half people poorer.” . . . .

Nicholas Kristof | Human Trafficking May be Strong, but a Mother’s Love Is Stronger – The New York Times

KOLKATA, India — This is a story of human trafficking, but mostly it’s a story of a mother’s love, the adoring son she raised and the highest-return investment in the world today.

Nearly two decades ago, I interviewed a woman named Maya Gayen who had been trafficked at the age of 12 to a brothel here. She had not yet reached puberty then, but a man bought her virginity. She wept and pleaded, but the man raped her.

For the next few years, Maya was locked inside the brothel, beaten with sticks, threatened with death if she tried to escape, and raped constantly. She had her first period only after eight months of these rapes.

This went on for years, but one of Maya’s regular customers was a taxi driver who felt badly for her when she wept. One day he helped her escape the brothel. “It may not have been love, but he was sympathetic,” she related.

Or perhaps it was love, for he married her even though his family despised her background and disowned him. The couple rented a one-room hovel in the Kalighat red-light district, and Maya reluctantly sold sex, but as her own boss, while her husband drove for a taxi company.


Maya at her old house in the red-light area of Kalighat in Kolkata.
Maya wears a pink sari with colorful stripes and stands in a doorway in front of a room. The walls are green, and clothes hang from the ceiling.

I will never forget their shack. It was the size of a walk-in closet on the bank of a sewage-laden river that periodically flooded their home. A bed took up most of the room, and Maya had nowhere else to take customers — so her four sons would try to sleep under the bed while she conducted her business.

I was impressed by her oldest son, Avijit, then a scrawny, shy boy of 12 who attended school through an outstanding local nonprofit called New Light. On subsequent trips to Kolkata over the years, I visited Maya and Avijit and witnessed their struggles. Maya always displayed a beatific smile and said she was just happy that she was no longer enslaved in the brothel.

I lost track of Maya and her family, and then on a visit to the Kalighat slum this month I was startled to be greeted by a strapping 29-year-old man who introduced himself in fluent English as Avijit.”

Opinion | The Colorado River Is Running Dry, but Nobody Wants to Talk About the Mud – The New York Times

Mr. Maharidge is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


“It’s difficult to fathom how the Colorado River could possibly carve the mile-deep chasm that is the Grand Canyon. But if one thinks of the river as a flume of liquid sandpaper rubbing the land over millions of years, it begins to make sense. “The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools,” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.”

In 1963, humans stopped time, when the brand-new Glen Canyon Dam on the Utah-Arizona border cut off the reddish sediment that naturally eroded the Grand Canyon. Today the river runs vodka clear from the base of the dam.”

A 90-Year-Old Tortoise Named Mr. Pickles Is a New Dad of Three – The New York Times


The oldest animal at the Houston Zoo, a radiated tortoise born nearly a century ago, is finally a father.

The zoo announced last week that Mr. Pickles and Mrs. Pickles welcomed three tortoise hatchlings: Dill, Gherkin and Jalapeño. (All three names are comfortably in the family of pickle preserves.)

It was an astounding feat, zoo officials said, not only because Mr. Pickles is 90 years old, but also because the critically endangered species rarely produces offspring.

Mr. Pickles has been a resident of the zoo for 36 years and partnered with Mrs. Pickles, now 53, since her arrival in 1996. While radiated tortoises can live for up to 150 years, exactly how long they can reproduce is unknown, said Jessica Reyes, a zoo spokeswoman.

Illegal Mining Fuels Crisis for Indigenous Tribe in Brazil’s Amazon – The New York Times

Jack Nicas, The Times’s Brazil correspondent, and Victor Moriyama, a photographer, accompanied Brazilian agents on a helicopter trip roughly 250 miles into the Amazon rainforest to search for illegal gold mines.


“YANOMAMI INDIGENOUS TERRITORY, Brazil — The illegal tin mine was so remote that, for three years, the massive gash it cut into the Amazon rainforest had gone largely ignored.

So when three mysterious helicopters suddenly hovered overhead, unannounced, the miners living there scrambled into the forest.

By the time Brazil’s environmental special forces team piled out, the miners were out of sight, but the mine’s two large pumps were still vibrating in the mud. The federal agents began dousing the machines in diesel fuel.

As they were set to ignite them, about two-dozen Indigenous people came jogging out of the forest, carrying bows and arrows taller than them. They were from the Yanomami tribe, and the miners had been destroying their land — and their tribe — for years.”

Gordon E. Moore, Intel Co-Founder Behind Moore’s Law, Dies at 94 – The New York Times


“Gordon E. Moore, a co-founder and former chairman of Intel Corporation, the California semiconductor chip maker that helped give Silicon Valley its name, achieving the kind of industrial dominance once held by the giant American railroad or steel companies of another age, died on Friday at his home in Hawaii. He was 94.

His death was confirmed by Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. They did not provide a cause.

Along with a handful of colleagues, Mr. Moore could claim credit for bringing laptop computers to hundreds of millions of people and embedding microprocessors into everything from bathroom scales, toasters and toy fire engines to cellphones, cars and jets.

Mr. Moore, who had wanted to be a teacher but could not get a job in education and later called himself the Accidental Entrepreneur, became a billionaire as a result of an initial $500 investment in the fledgling microchip business, which turned electronics into one of the world’s largest industries.”